Food standards and labelling

Our Trading Standards service advises businesses about food standards laws, including regulations about food labelling.

Our Food Service Plan explains how we will carry out inspections.

Food Service Plan

What are food standards?

Food standards laws are complex and numerous. They exist to control the composition, quality, labelling, advertising and presentation of food.

Trading Standards, as a local food authority, is required by law to make sure that businesses comply with the law in relation to:

  • The labelling and advertising of food.
  • The composition of food – we check that the labelling of a food product is an accurate reflection of the composition of the product, for example 100% beef burger should only contain beef.
  • The nature, substance and quality of food, for example cod and chips should be just that and not substituted with other fish.
  • False and misleading claims about food. For example, we verify claims like ‘local’, ‘homemade’, ‘fresh’, ‘natural’, ‘organic’ and ‘free-range’. We check the nutritional information, like salt, sugar and fat levels.

The food standards checks that we ensure the information provided on a food label is accurate and truthful.

Food business advice

If you are an East Sussex food manufacturer, we may work with you in the following ways:

  • We can provide advice and assistance to ensure that your labels and food comply with the relevant legislation.
  • We carry out inspections and ensure that what is declared on the label is accurate by checking things such as where raw materials are sourced, production methods used, ingredients, and your recipe.
  • We take samples of ingredients and finished products for testing by a Public Analyst.

When we find something wrong, we will advise you on the steps that you need to take. In some circumstances we may take further enforcement action. This will be in line with our enforcement policy.

Further guidance

Detailed guidance on food labelling is available from Business Companion.